“Jail isn’t housing. Prison isn’t housing.” – Trump wants to criminalize homelessness, and people are appalled

Former president Donald Trump promised to “ban urban camping wherever possible” once he is re-elected. The statement was issued via video and angered many.

Trump’s chilling message

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In his video, former POTUS said, “Under my strategy, working with states, we will ban urban camping wherever possible.” He continued, “Violators of these bans will be arrested, but they will be given the option to accept treatment and services if they’re willing to be rehabilitated.”

Not the first time Trump has attacked homeless people

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In 2019, Trump wanted to eliminate homeless people in California, the state with the highest number of people who do not have properties, The Washington Post reported. Again, in 2019, Trump called out the then-Representative of Maryland’s congressional district, Elijah Cummings. He said that Baltimore was “disgusting” and “rodent infested.”

Homelessness is not a problem in blue states only

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While it appears that blue states have issues with homelessness, this is a national problem. After his comments about Baltimore, Trump critics shared images of poverty and homelessness across the Republican-controlled states.

Ending Obama’s efforts

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In 2020, AP claimed that Trump wanted to remove Obama’s House First initiative. This initiative was supposed to give people housing, then a security number, followed by social services, including help finding a job or treatments for addictions.

Trump’s solution

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Donald Trump offered a solution – creating “tent cities.” He would move homeless people to the “large parcels of inexpensive land,” calling the plan “beautiful” and “livable.”

People are appalled

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Alan Mills, executive director of Uptown People’s Law Center, told Newsweek: “It is blatant in the Constitution that you can’t arrest people just because they don’t have a home. Mills added, “But more importantly, it doesn’t work. People are not homeless because they’re afraid of punishment. People are homeless because they don’t have a home.”

Alarming statements

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Ann Oliva, chief executive officer for NAEH, shared that the statements by the former president are both “alarming” and “dangerous.” She said, “The way to end homelessness is not to arrest people and move them out of sight into internment camps.”

Jail is not housing

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Oliva added, “Jail isn’t housing. Prison isn’t housing. Tent cities aren’t housing. Housing, with services tailored to people’s specific needs, must be at the center of any plan to end homelessness. Prioritizing any immediate strategy other than housing is a red herring—a political ploy to divert attention from the real resources communities need while ‘othering’ people in the most vulnerable situations imaginable.”

Veterans spoke up

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In a statement on Twitter, veterans shared, “We’ve cut the homeless Veterans population by over half since 2010, and numbers continue to fall. Instead of continuing that progress, Trump wants to find them and toss them into what can best be described as internment camps.”

Responses sided with homeless people

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One person said, “Locking people up for having no money. What could possibly go wrong?” Another shared, “Sounds like a solution for himself and his base to make the homeless “go away”; not an actual solution for homelessness.” Someone wrote, “The GOP again shows how it wants to ignore Veterans as it drinks Cristal.” Another chimed in, “He hates veterans because it’s an exclusive club he can’t join.”

However, some saw it as a great idea

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Brigitte Gabriel tweeted, “Joe Biden wants to solve the homeless problem in Ukraine. Donald Trump wants to solve the homeless problem in the United States.” One person responded to her tweet, “I don’t recall anyone wanting to solve a homeless problem in Ukraine, from what I understand, we are trying the percent Russia from stealing Ukraine, we are trying to prevent Russia from ra.ping and murdering Ukrainians. You probably should stop watching Fox News.” Another added, “Arresting homeless people and carting them off to camps with little hope of getting out is not a solution. Being homeless is not a crime, and moving them out of site will not solve the problem.”

Solving homelessness is not difficult

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Mills claims that the solution is to give people homes. He said, “It’s much easier to deliver, for example, mental health care and drug treatment when people have a home instead of a tent.” He completed by sharing that the focus should be on more affordable housing, not punishing people who ran out of luck.

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